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Wilkirson (center) at a recent luncheon for the Phoenix Initiative

Once a stagnant neighborhood without direction, Fondren has blossomed into a vital and thriving model for development in the capital city.

Without a doubt, the Fondren we know now would not be the neighborhood it is today without the hard work and dedication of Fondren Renaissance Foundation. FRF Executive Director Jim Wilkirson explains the role the non-profit organization plays in building a vibrant community.

What does Fondren Renaissance Foundation do anyway?

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The Lowery Family Farm is part of The Resting Place, a special events venue in Flora.

We are excited to announce a special “pop-up” for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Lowery Family Farm of Flora will offer fresh-cut Fraser Fir trees the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. The temporary lot will be set up in the Rankin Interiors parking lot at 3111 North State Street.

While we were hoping to get this as part of Fondren Unwrapped, it was early – by a week – for the Christmas tree season. After talking with Judith Lowery, we decided on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The lot will offer fifty trees on Friday, November 27 from 10am to 6pm and and Saturday, November 28 from 9am to 5pm. Hopefully, this will be an annual event and extend throughout the Christmas season next year.

Tree sizes range from five to six feet to seven to eight feet, with prices ranging from $55 to $70. The Lowerys will offer bundling and tree loading as part of their services. And, if you don’t see a tree that meets your need, you can always special order from their Flora farm.

Judith Lowery loves Fondren and was excited we contacted her to bring the trees to the neighborhood. We’re hoping to create another reason to get out and shop in Fondren, to stay here and support local.

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McAnally

Surrounded by her loving family, Mary Jo McAnally died at home November 3, 2015, in Jackson, MS.

Mary Jo was born on July 20,1941, in Blytheville, Arkansas, to Lucille and Herman Oden. Upon graduation from high school, she chose to attend the University of Mississippi where her bigger-than-life personality soon charmed all those who knew her. At Ole Miss, Mary Jo sparkled as a feature twirler in the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and as a member of Tau Beta Sigma. She pledged Tri Delta sorority, bringing honor to that group as she was selected Campus Cutie, Campus Favorite, runner up to Miss University, and Miss Blytheville.

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We’ve never kicked off the holidays exactly like this before.

On November 19 from 5-8pm, BankPlus will present Fondren Unwrapped, the neighborhood’s annual holiday open house. But with an expansive list of themed activities surrounding the night, Unwrapped may never be the same again.

“It truly is about our merchants and restaurants inviting folks in to shop and dine,” says FRF Executive Director Jim Wilkirson. “But we wanted to add a few things to entice people to come out and enjoy the neighborhood even more.”

A few? Where to start….

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holidayart15-webAnnouncing the final installment of the 2015 Four Seasons of The Cedars Visual and Performing Arts Series at The Cedars.

“Works on Paper” will feature the art of Jean Seymour, Richard Stowe and Chloe Brown, with pottery by Andrew McIntyre.

A portion of all proceeds from sales of artists’ works goes to the continuing maintenance and restoration efforts of The Cedars, Jackson’s oldest residential home, circa 1840, celebrating 175 years in 2015.

The Cedars is located at 4145 Old Canton Road and parking is conveniently available across the street at St. Andrew’s Lower School (a security crossing guard is available during opening receptions).

Opening receptions are free of charge and open to the public. This show will hang through November 25. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10am until 4pm.

For more information, call Kay Holloway at 601.366.5552.

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A special event spearheaded by the Fondren Association of Businesses Committee of Fondren Renaissance Foundation

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Developers Jason Watkins (lefty) and Roy Decker update residents on hoped-for plans for Eubanks Creek. Photo: Find It In Fondren™

Special to Fondren Renaissance (Find It In Fondren™)

Here’s what we know about efforts to bring some relief to the ever overflowing Eubanks Creek behind the former McRae’s building after a well-attended public meeting last night in Fondren, sponsored by Fondren Renaissance.

• While new tenant Venyu Solutions helped to initiate the mitigation process, it’s the City of Jackson that will take the project forward.

Dr. Charles Williams, the city’s Engineering Manager, was praised by developers Roy Decker and Jason Watkins for helping place the Eubanks Creek flooding issues to the forefront of spending priorities for 2016’s funding plans using the the recently voted in 1% sales tax increase.

The next steps? A design consultant will be selected by January 1, 2016 to conduct a “true survey” to come up with the best options. Plans for two future town halls were announced, giving residents a voice in the final work to be completed.

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meeting2With many questions surrounding the status of flood mitigation and drainage issues of Eubanks Creek, developers Jason Watkins and Roy Decker will host an information session to provide answers and a timeline for work to be completed.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 6 at 5:30pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in the church sanctuary.

Hydrologist Bill Colson will be in attendance to answer questions with information specific to your street and your home. Watkins says it’s a good opportunity for people really effected by the floodplain to see if they will still be in it.

A brief overview of the Venyu and UMMC Telehealth project will also be provided.

Enter from Duling Avenue. This is a public meeting, presented in part by Fondren Renaissance Foundation.

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Contractors bore holes for fiber lines on a Jackson street.

Construction begins this week on CSpire fiber service in Fondren! Morris Company will be laying the fiber lines beginning in the Council Circle area first.

You’ve probably already seen underground utilities being marked with paint. Soon you’ll see the digging of small holes to allow structure placement, horizontal lines to tie it all together and installing the main fiberhood lines.

The work, according to CSpire, will be done Monday through Friday between 7am and 5:30pm. While some Saturday work may take place, the company will not be working on Sundays.

Clean up will be done daily and any issues involving utility cuts, sprinkler systems or covering holes will be resolved as soon as possible. CSpire says they know there are special types of sod and other unique issues in the area and they’ll work with you to ensure that everything is returned to satisfactory condition after construction.

I had the opportunity to meet with Cpsire last week and they assured me a professional and cooperative experience with residents.

* Once an area is dug and covered back in sand, it may take a while before sod is installed due to other digging in the area and because of weather to acclimate sod. Please be patient as sod and areas of patching will ultimately be matched as they were before digging began.

* Although digging will not occur after 5pm, protecting open areas and safety measures may take up until dusk each evening. Please be patient, but at the same time cautious if you see something out of order or that needs immediate attention.

* Churches and businesses in the residential areas with on street parking: please call ahead to Morris Company (828-507-4771) to plan around a wedding rehearsal, funeral, visitation or special service during the day in the area of construction. Crews will do everything within their power to make sure that you have the parking you desire without additional noise in the area.

Again, thank you for your patience and as always, please call Fondren Renaissance if there any issues that arise outside of those listed.
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Juried show winners with show sponsors Jan and Lawrence Farrington (second and third from left) and Butler Snow art committee member Art Spratlin, Jr. (far left).

Fondren Renaissance has announced the winners of the 2015 Cedars Juried Art Show in an opening reception at The Cedars.

This year’s adjudication, by artist and designer Myrna Colley-Lee, consisted of four categories rather than one best of show. Those divisions and winners are:

• Painting (oils, watercolors, acrylics and glass work): Winner – Paul Fayard for LaRita ReSights | Honorable mention – Robert Cooper for Merricats Meadow

• Art & Craft (weaving, jewelry and ceramics and sculpture): Winner – Kim Whitt for Treegrove Weaving | Honorable mention – Elizabeth Robinson for Talisman

• Printmaking (includes collage, mixed media and drawing): Winner – Mike Wharton for Which Came First | Honorable mention – Glenn Sanford for Nashville Streets

• Photography: Winner – Thomas Joynt for Street Car Girl | Honorable mention – Allen Creel for The Intellectuals

Selections for this year’s show consist of 80 works representing 64 artists from 20 different cities throughout Mississippi and are drawn from over 90 artists from across the state submitting nearly 300 works.

The free exhibition will hang through the end of the month of September. The last day for the public viewing will be Wednesday, September 30. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10am – 4pm.


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© 2017, Fondren Renaissance Foundation